We all think and feel many things throughout the course of the day, thoughts about ourselves and other people, places, and things. These include the literal and the abstract. When we think of others in certain situations, its easy to judge from the outside; we’re not in their minds. Oh wait, what’s that? It appears that some of us actually are. I actually am.
I’m an empathy– one who takes on the feelings and energies of other living beings and places. When someone around me is upset, I can sense it before even hearing their voice. When I go to a home or neighborhood, I immediately get the feel. In fact, one thing I do when I go on job interviews is I like to navigate the area better, knowing what my possible new environment looks like. The only times I didn’t do this were because I already knew the area(s). The point is, I pick up on things and feel them more deeply than the average human being.
This is both a blessing and a curse– I’m blessed because it makes me compassionate, open hearted, and easy to talk to. I also give incredible advice. However, it is an equally, if not more so depending on the person, a curse since I can be affected by energies of people and places in more way than one. For example, if someone lives or works in a toxic environment, I immediately feel it when I walk in the door. The longer I remain there, the tenser and more anxious I get. I try to build a mental wall around me to protect me from the bad energy, but try to be as nice and courteous as possible. However, if I continue to languish there for what I know is too long, everything changes; the energy latches onto me, and I try in vain to get rid of it. I rant and rant once out; if not out, I calm up in silence and get nervous or bitchy if someone has an attitude with me. I try to be a Pollyanna and bring out the best in everyone, but some people are too negative and don’t know how to do anything but bring one another down. To be honest, it sucks feeling this way, but I’d rather be me than them any day.
Another struggle of being an empathy is trying to sway people in toxic situations in the right direction when they don’t want to leave. I’m a go-getter– I never give up on my goals and dreams. If I did, I would not be where I am today, which although isn’t where I pictured myself, is where I need to be right now and much better than where I was a year, two, three, etc. years ago. I rid myself of every toxic person and thing in my life. The only exception is my home, but only because I don’t have money to move out, nor do my parents have the money to move to a better neighborhood. Still, that’s the one area where I’ve mastered putting up with the negative energy because when you live in a not-so-great area, you get used to it. Plus, I know I’ll get out eventually, so that hope drives me on.
Hope– its what I have that I want for those around me. I want those around me to see the best in themselves and take action on getting out of toxic situations. Talking isn’t enough; doing is what matters most. As previously mentioned, I give amazing advice. There’s one piece of advice I’ve been giving someone for years. Each time she gets closer to fully taking it, she reverts back to square one, and gets nasty with me when I try to bring it up. I mention I’m not bringing it up again, she can make her own decisions. She realizes she’s in a toxic environment, confides in me, and the next part is a line I’ve perfected for two years straight:
“I told you what to do.”
I told her what to do. Over, and over, and over again. I helped her move closer and closer to moving forward with achieving this goal, and when I did, she was overjoyed and grateful. But then something happens– money (which can be wonderful or damning depending on the situation; in most cases for us poor and middle class folk, its the latter), a good day, being in the habit of something and not wanting to break it. Back to square one again. And after that, back to her re-re-re-re+ realizing “this isn’t where I need to nor should be” and me telling her what to do over and over again, she snaps.
“I don’t want to talk about it anymore.”
She doesn’t snap at those in the negative environment. She doesn’t snap at those who take advantage of her. She snaps at me– the one who’s trying to help. I’m not the only one who advises her on this issue; her own husband gives the same pointers as I do, in fact even better. Maybe I egged her on too much; perhaps I should’ve kept my mouth shut. But when you absorb the feelings of those around you, especially family and friends, like a sponge and genuinely feel where they’re coming from, you can’t help but inclined to help. When you get yelled at for helping, you can’t help but feel offended, even when you know the fault is not with you, nor is it with them. So your mood changes– because they’re not happy. And that’s the worst part of being an empathy, when you try in vain to help someone and they shut themselves and yourself down. Even more distressing, and I encountered this with many old friends, is when they shut you out, yet let a horrible, negative person and/or people in. I’m not saying that’s what this person’s going to do– I know that she’s not like my own friends and has long evolved past the point of reverting to that– what I am saying is that this is why empaths feel and hurt the most out of everyone.
Despite my complaints, I am proud of who I am. I like picking up on the feelings of those around me because it reduces my risks of getting taken advantage of. I see people’s true colors, and it allows me to choose the best and kick out the worst. I used to ignore it, fearing that I was being too selective in people, but after two of those closest to me (including the person I’ve just used as an example with trying to help) asked me why I kept a negative person around when it was clear she was psychotic, I realized I was right; I only befriended her because I ignored my gut feeling and thought “maybe I’m being too harsh.” No, I wasn’t being too harsh then, and I’m certainly not being too harsh now. I see and feel the world differently, not with rose colored glasses nor in black and white, but in Technicolor. And that’s that. I’m done feeling sorry for being a good person and apologizing for giving a rat’s ass. Simple, said, done.